Soccer players, in particular, are susceptible to lower body injuries and often require physical therapy for their ankle and knee injury treatments.
Due to the nature of the game, soccer players are at risk for a different scope of sports injuries. A seemingly minor hit early in the season can knock any player out of the line-up for the rest of the year.
This is something Phoenix Rising fans know all too well. For many, the concern over the safety of their favorite player is just as important as the final score (if not more).
As the 2019 season kicks off, players are preparing to take to the field in the safest way possible.
Both professional and minor league soccer players are at high risk for lower body injuries like these:
- Ankle Sprains
Ankle sprains can happen in a multitude of ways. Switching directions while running, turning on the spot, impact (kicking a ball), tripping over another player, and getting kicked are all common causes.
When the RICE method isn’t enough, players seek physical therapy for their ankle. A licensed physical therapist works with the player to strengthen and heal the injury through regular sessions.
- ACL Tears
The anterior cruciate ligament(ACL) is a ligament that provides stability to the knee joint.
While an ACL tear is much different than a sprain, the injuries occur in the same manner. It’s easy to tell the injuries apart. ACL tears are often accompanied by pop felt in the knee. (Ouch!)
Surgery is required for a tear to properly heal. The recovery period for an ACL tear can last two to six months — however, it may take nine months for you to return to your pre-injury condition.
- Cartilage Damage
Aside from ACL tears and sprains, there is another reason why knee injury treatments are common for soccer players: cartilage wears down over time.
Eventually, joints become stiff and painful. Of course, when you move differently because of pain, you stand a greater chance of injury. Physical therapy and continuous monitoring can reduce the pain associated.
- Stress Fractures
Shin splints and Jones fractures (where the bones running along the small toe is injured) are the most common stress fractures.
The stress placed on the skeletal structure through repeated impacts (running, kicking, crashing into other players) can lead to chronic pain. Most of these injuries are treated with therapy, but, in certain cases, surgery is required for the break to fully heal.
- Pulled Muscles
All of the injuries listed above are painful and take weeks, if not months, to heal. But just because the pain from pulled muscles eases within a few hours, it’s not an injury to shrug off.
If a player is experiencing repetitive pulled muscle pain, there may be an underlying issue at hand.
A licensed physical therapist would be able to access the problem and come up with a treatment plan that could prevent future, serious damage.
Soccer is a high-impact sport, but that doesn’t mean players should throw in the towel. Safety precautions such as proper running shoes, hydration, and preparation can reduce the likelihood of needing emergency knee injury treatment or surgery.
Has a soccer injury put you in need of physical therapy for your ankle? Schedule an appointment at one of our Valley-wide locations. We’re ready to get you back on the field and show you how to avoid any future missteps.